Cowboys: Is Bryant elite?
It’s been Dez Bryant’s future with the Cowboys dominating much of their bye week news. Bryant has made it clear that he expects to be paid like one of the league’s very best and fortunately for him, he appears to be peaking at the right time.
Yards Per Route Run is a great way to benchmark ‘elite’ wide receiver status when it comes to pure production. In basic terms, it’s what an offense gains by simply having a guy on the field.
Elite YPRR is above 2.54; 97.5% of all WR YPRRs fall below this figure. Elite route running duty is 600 in a season; 95.0% of WRs fall below this figure.
Through his first four seasons Bryant had a 1.97 YPRR and his best season was 2.13 YPRR on 615 routes in 2012. Not what we’d consider elite, but 10 games into his fifth season, he’s now taken a big step forward generating 2.52 on 315 routes.
Calvin Johnson also had 1.97 YPRR through his first four seasons. In his fifth he jumped up to 2.59 on 731 routes. Johnson will likely be the benchmark for Bryant’s contract negotiations and as such, his current trajectory compares favorably. Whether he can continue that pace after a big payday will be the rub.